The Notre Dame throws group has shown dramatic growth during the past four years, due in no small part to the presence of B.J. Linnenbrink on the Irish coaching staff.
One of the top young track & field throws coaches in the country, Linnenbrink is in his fifth season at Notre Dame. Since joining the Irish program just after the beginning of the 2002-03 season, Linnenbrink has coached 13 all-BIG EAST Conference selections, including 2005 BIG EAST hammer throw champion Chip Roberts, and he has been a part of five BIG EAST Coaching Staffs of the Year (men's indoor - 2003, 2005; men's outdoor - 2003, 2006; women's indoor - 2006).
Linnenbrink also has seen his Irish throwers advance to the NCAA Mideast Regional 11 times in the past four seasons, with two qualifying for USATF competition (javelin throwers Derek Goguen in '03 [juniors], and Laura Huarte in '06). In addition, the Notre Dame top 10 lists in virtually every throwing event have been radically altered in recent years, with Linnenbrink's pupils currently holding down nine top-10 efforts on the men's side and a staggering 26 top-10 performances on the women's side.
Included in that count are two school records, with Huarte's javelin toss of 47.00m (154-2) at the '06 Mount SAC Relays, highlighting a season that saw Huarte register the top four javelin marks in school history. Huarte finished with five of Notre Dame's top 10 all-time javelin throws, following in the footsteps of Kate Duman, who has the other five top-10 marks for the Irish, including the former school record (43.56m, 142-11) before Huarte surged into the top spot.
The other school record holder to emerge in '06 was hammer thrower Kyle Annen. With Linnenbrink providing expert guidance, Annen improved his personal best by more than 18 feet during the course of the season, topping out with a Notre Dame-record toss of 201-8 (61.46m) en route to a runner-up finish at the BIG EAST Championship (leading to his second consecutive all-conference citation).
As it turned out, the Irish men's throwers proved to be the difference in Notre Dame's comeback victory at the '06 BIG EAST Outdoor Championship. In addition to Annen's heave, classmate Garet Koxlien uncorked a career-best throw of 57.35m (188-2) that was not only the eighth-longest in school history, but also locked up third-place (and all-BIG EAST) honors. The tandem of Annen and Koxlien wound up collecting 14 vital team points that sealed Notre Dame's fourth BIG EAST men's outdoor title (and third in the past four years).
A former NCAA and USATF championship qualifier in the weight throw at Florida State, Linnenbrink owns the FSU school record in the weight throw (20.91m, 68-7 1/4) and ranks among the top 10 in Seminoles' history in the hammer throw (59.48m, 195-2). He earned all-Atlantic Coast Conference honors in '02 as well.
Before his successful two-year stint at Florida State, Linnenbrink dominated at the junior college level, earning two NJCAA All-America honors at Johnson County Community College in Overland Park, Kan. In his two years at Johnson County, Linnenbrink also collected seven all-Jayhawk East Conference awards.
Linnenbrink graduated from Florida State in 2002 with a bachelor of science degree in physical education. In '06, he earned his master of science degree in physical education from Emporia State. Linnenbrink and his wife, the former Monica Hardy, were married July 31, 2004.